I was delighted to stay home this Thanksgiving and get to cook. This all sort of happened at the last minute, but I rustled up a nice meal for me, my mom, a friend, and her mom. It was extra special because my friend is from India and her mom was visiting at the time and I got to cook her first American Thanksgiving meal, and I love Thanksgiving! Once you get past its questionable origins, you are left with a day of celebrating harvest, friends, family, and gratitude around a table filled with delicious food. How can you beat that!?
So here is the menu:
- Mushroom Barley Soup
- Salad (mom)
- Apple, Leek, and Butternut Squash Gratin
- I have now made this several times and it is a true crowd favorite! Super easy, less the peeling and slicing of the squash and apples, the sherry and leeks provide a superb backdrop for the sweet and savory apples and squash. You can use any type of hearty winter squash or pumpkin.
- Kale & Olive Oil Mashed potatoes
- OMG good. I made mine with buttermilk, and I used both red and green kale. Heidi is right that the kale will stain the potatoes, so if you are making it for a fancy dinner, be sure to blend in the kale just before serving for the best appearance. (It will, however, still taste great reheated later...)
- Rich Brown Gravy
- Mom likes this gravy even better than most turkey gravies. I have never once, in my many years of making this recipe, had it cook as fast as the directions say, and I also often add like a tablespoon of cornstarch (be sure to blend smooth with a little water before adding it, or it will lump up in the gravy) to help thicken it a bit. It is delicious with sauteed mushrooms blended in as well.
- Scrumptious Green Beans
- Mattar Pullau (Aromatic Indian rice dish w/peas) (friends)
- Pumpkin Pie (mom)
- Apple Oat Bars
- Kheer (Indian rice pudding) (friends)
One of the things I wanted to make, but ended up scratching once I realized that I had enough food for a small army to feed a dinner party of four, was Roasted Vegetable Ragoût w/Creamy Polenta. Since I had bought all the ingredients already, I made it the following weekend and it was deelish!
I intend, in the near future, to put up a page with some resources for vegetarian cooking--whether you're just interested in expanding your cooking horizons, looking to reduce the amount of meat you eat, or worried about what to cook up for one of your twig and berry eating friend, I have some links that I think will help you think a little differently about vegetarian cuisine, particularly if you have little experience with that style of cooking and think it is all twigs and tofu and "weird ingredients." :-D
Until then, however, I hope you enjoy some of these recipes! If you give something a try, leave me a comment below and let me know how it goes! Bon appetit!
(And, as always, if you find a broken link, please also let me know!)